Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hippolyte: Mandatory minimum Crack Offender Not Eligible for sentence reduction

In U.S. v. Hippolyte, No. 11-15933 (March 14, 2013), the Court held that a crack cocaine offender sentenced in 1996 to a statutory mandatory minimum sentence was not eligible for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) based on the recent Guideline Amendments.

The Court rejected the argument that the Guidelines’ new definition of the term “applicable guideline range” made Hippolyte eligible for a § 3582(c)(2) reduction, holding that it has “nothing to do with mandatory minimums.”

The Court also noted that the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) does not apply retroactively to Hippolyte’s 1996 sentence. Hence, any Guideline reduction could not apply to Hippolyte because his sentence was based on an unchanged statutory mandatory minimum.